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Big Sleep Out in Bristol for Homelessness Awareness

All the funds raised will go to help homeless Big Issue vendors in the Bristol area

More than a hundred people are expected to join in the annual Big Sleep Out in Bristol tonight as part of Homelessness Awareness Week.

They'll be spending the night in the grounds of a church to raise funds and highlight the work being done by charities and organisations.

'It's not just the money, it's understanding what people can do'

It's not just the money, it's understanding what people can do for organisations. That might be volunteering or just telling other people about them. It doesn't have to be "oh we want your money", it's "this is what we do - do you understand what we do and do you know how we can help people?"

– Richard Drake, 'Sleep Out' organiser

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5,000 Bristol households faced homelessness last year

Thousands of people in Bristol faced homelessness last year Credit: ITV News

Homelessness Awareness Week begins in Bristol today.

In the last year, 5,000 households in the city were made homeless or were threatened with homelessness.

Bristol City Council says the problem is largely due to private sector tenancies ending.

The week will culminate in a sponsored 'sleep out' in the city on Friday.

The sponsored sleep out will take place in Pip 'n Jay Church Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Rough sleepers given accommodation as cold sets in

Homeless people are in danger as the temperature drops Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Emergency accommodation for rough sleepers will be provided over the next few nights as freezing temperatures hit North Devon.

North Devon Council and Torridge District Council will help to provide the service at the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple, which offers shelter to individuals if the temperature drops below zero for three consecutive nights.

The freezing cold temperatures mean that the emergency accommodation will be open for at least the next two nights. Of course, we will continue to monitor the weather daily and it may be that the service is extended, depending on how long the cold spell is with us.

– Faye Webber, Councillor

More than 40 people sleeping rough in Bristol

Rough sleepers on a street in London Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/

A total of 41 people were sleeping rough in Bristol on the night of an official count last month. The figure is unchanged compared with the same time in 2013.

The number of people sleeping rough in Bristol has stayed the same over the last 12 months according to an annual count.

Weekly counts of rough sleepers are held across the city, and once a year an official count is commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

To alert authorities to someone sleeping rough in Bristol you can use Streetlink.

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Football 'key to my recovery'

I became homeless because of alcohol and legal highs.

I've been having panic attacks and bad anxiety since I was 17. I have depression. I used to drink to block out the anxiety, and take legal highs to lift my depression.

It meant me losing jobs, and my home.

I now know exercise is the best thing for depression. That's why football, and all sports activities, are important to me.

When I move into my own place, I'll still carry on with the weekly football sessions through the hostel because I love it.

– Chris, resident in Chapter 1 hostel in Torquay

Devon's homeless in football competition

Homeless football is about more than just a game.

Playing sport encourages fitness, self-confidence and discipline.

It can better equip people who have been homeless to move on, to live independently in the community, gain qualifications and find work.

Our aim is to enthuse more homeless projects to develop sports schemes within their local area and build sustainable working partnerships to support homeless people in every possible way.

– Dean Ashton, Sports Development Officer, Chapter 1

Homeless people to compete in football competition

A team from Devon will compete in a national football tournament for homeless people.

The Street2Feet five-a-side competition will be held in Manchester on May the 15th.

Chapter 1, which provides accommodation and support for vulnerable people in Torquay, will send a team to the game, for the third time.

32 teams representing more than 20 homeless projects will take part.

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